Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of reds
Of the total planted area with top quality grapes in Argentina, 12% is grown with Cabernet Sauvignon, fourth in the ranking of grape varieties. Of all the provinces, Mendoza concentrates 77%, followed by San Juan. The evolutionary figures of exports prove the positioning of this variety worldwide.
The quality of this grape and its popularity throughout the wine world is basically due to its great adaptation to diverse climates and terroirs, its gift for growing, and the thick skin of its berries that is able to withstand rotting and frosts. Undoubtedly, it is the most international wine grape, as it can be found in all wine-producing countries.
In Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon is the fourth most cultivated variety, with more than 16,000 hectares in 2012, behind Malbec, Syrah and Bonarda. In the 2012 harvest, this grape reached a yield of 1.22 million harvested quintals, becoming Argentina’s fifth grape variety. These data on Cabernet Sauvignon come from the Observatorio Vitivinícola Argentino’s report (Argentine Wine Observatory).
Likewise, the report highlights that Mendoza accounts for 77% of the area cultivated with this grape and it harvests 75% of the total production, followed by San Juan province with 10% of the country’s surface. The rest (13%) is distributed among the other wine regions.
Highly valued and bottled wine exports
This is the premise with which the Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon moves in the world, showing positive numbers from 2004 to 2012, in terms of both liters and value. In total, this variety represents almost 10% in volume (22.9 million liters in 2012) and almost 12% in turnover (USD 92.4 million). It is ranked as the second grape, behind Malbec. In 2012, 97.8% of the dollars earned from Cabernet Sauvignon sales came from bottled wines. Other data from the report reveals that 55% of volume and 57% in value of this Argentine varietal wine exports is concentrated in five countries, while the price segments where it stood out were USD 2 – 4 and USD 4 – 6 per liter.
Finally, the evolution in terms of value that Cabernet Sauvignon has shown in exports has been positive. In 2004, the turnover amounted to USD 34 million, whereas last year (2012), Cabernet Sauvignon exports attained USD 92 million.
Moreover, in relation to the evolution of the average price per liter and the comparison with all the Argentine wines, Cabernet Sauvignon went from USD 2.62 in 2004 to USD 4.03 in 2012. In addition, the average price per liter of all the argentine wines increased from USD 1.49 in 2004 to USD 2.52 in 2012. The highest value of the average price per liter of Cabernet Sauvignon was paid in 2011 and 2012, USD 3.82 and USD 4.03, respectively, whereas in Argentina, the average price per liter of wine was USD 2.52 last year.